Tips for Cleaning Jewelry to Keep it Sparkling Like New

No matter what the latest trends are, classic yellow-gold jewelry is a great investment. You can wear it for many years if you clean and care for them properly. How can you maintain your gold jewelry so that it is sparkling and shiny? Well, it depends. Gold jewelry comes in a variety of types and qualities. The purity can vary from 9ct up to 24ct. Solid gold is more expensive, and it’s a softer metal. You can also get an alloy, which is a mixture of silver, nickel and zinc.

Vermeil is sterling silver jewelry that has been plated with at least 10k of gold. You don’t know what type of gold jewelry is in your possession? The metal karat should be stamped on the piece. Understanding the details of your jewelry is important, as it will affect how you clean it. You have several options.

Use mild soap and warm water For the most gentle and minimally invasive way, use a microfiber cloth and place the item in a bowl with water and mild soap. Charlotte Collins, Astrid & Miyu’s jewelry expert, says to submerge gold jewelry in this solution and let it soak for about 20 minutes. After the soaking time, remove the jewelry carefully from the solution. Rub the piece gently with a soft, clean cloth to restore its brilliance. Rub plated items gently. If you rub too hard, the plating will be removed. For a deeper clean, use a soft bristle toothbrush.

Use a jewelry cleaner. Jill Martinelli is the co-founder and owner of Lady Grey Jewelry. She likes the GemOro model. Ultrasonic cleaners use high-frequency soundwaves to create small bubbles to remove residue from the piece. This includes the crevices, which are difficult to reach using the previous method. You can’t, however, use it on jewelry that contains certain types of gems. (More about that later).

Use Simple Green house cleaner Martinelli says, “Oane ounce Simple Green mixed with eight ounces water, soak the piece for several minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. It works wonders!” If you are unsure, ask the seller if a cleaner with this strength will work on your piece.

Take fine jewelry to an expert. Bobby Jain is the CEO and owner FANA fine jewelry. He says fine jewelry may need to be cleaned by a professional.

Is your jewelry covered in a sticky residue? Martinelli says that isopropyl ethanol can be used on large jewelry surfaces to remove makeup, hairspray or other sticky residues. Don’t use too much, as it is an abrasive substance. When in doubt, consult an expert.

Avoid products

Lisa Ann, Allurez’s jewelry consultant, says that toothpaste and baking soda are too abrasive. Paper towels can also be too harsh. Avoid harsh chemicals such as Windex, bleach or cleaning agents. This includes an all-metal cleanser that may not contain the ingredients necessary to gently clean your gold. If your jewelry piece contains a gemstone, avoid vinegar and alcohol. AMYO Gina Nam, founder and designer at AMYO, says to avoid citric acid and sulfate-containing ingredients. Martinelli says that you should never use a jewelry cleaning cloth on plated jewelry. These cloths have an abrasive material woven into their fabric, which will remove the plating.

Collins says that to preserve the quality of your jewelry, especially if it is plated, you should avoid alcohol, perfumes and chemicals in lotions or pool water while wearing it. Ann says that “lotions and soaps can cause dust and smudges on diamonds and gold jewelry.” Some brands, such as SENIA, have been testing PVD plating which is more durable than regular electroplating. The pieces can also be worn in the water without any worries, explains Senia. Check the website of the seller to find out what products you should avoid when wearing your piece.

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How to clean gold-plated jewelry

These tips also apply to jewelry that is plated or vermeil. Jain says that these pieces tend to tarnish faster when exposed to cosmetics or chemicals. Collins also notes that too much cleaning will speed up the fading. Senia warns that jewelry made from wire or super thin can be damaged and broken easily. These pieces are not suitable for daily use. Nam says that you shouldn’t use more than 10 strokes with your cleaning cloth when cleaning your jewelry. This could wear away the plating. If you’re unsure, the gentle soap-and-water method is best.

Collins explains that you should also store your silver jewelry properly “to avoid it darkening from oxidation”. Airtight containers will help maintain the shine of the item and reduce the need to clean it.

How often to clean gold jewelry

If you are unsure, you can ask the seller to let you know how often to clean the gold. Collins says that plated jewelry should be cleaned gently a few time a year in order to prolong the life of the plating and to keep it looking its best. Jain says that fine jewelry might need to be cleaned once every few months. Ornamental jewelry with small crevices is more likely to accumulate buildup. Jewelry with clean edges and fewer lines may not be as dirty.

How To Clean Jewelry With Glass, Crystals or Gemstones

It all depends on the stone. In some cases, you should avoid using an ultrasonic cleaner. Certain stones (such as emeralds), are sensitive to heat. Other stones such as pearls, colored stones, opals and cubic zirconia can also be damaged. This is not an exhaustive list. Do a Google Search to see if your gemstone is included. Christina Senia is the cofounder and designer of SENIA. She says that diamonds, sapphires, and rubies are more durable, and can withstand more intensive cleaning methods. Nam explains that if you are cleaning softer stones, “you can use mild soap and water to clean freshwater pearls (and) natural semi-precious stone.”

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